How to Become an Event Planner

An event planner works to coordinate and organize meetings, functions, weddings, parties, and many other types of events.

Working as an event planner, you’ll find yourself in a fast paced role that demands a wide skills base.

You’ll need to have excellent interpersonal skills, be resourceful, and have outstanding organization.

If you are a very social person who likes to get things done, you’ll love becoming an event planner.

Education Requirements to Become an Event Planner

There are no formal educational requirements to become an event planner.

You can complete courses at community college in this field, however most event planners come from a broad academic background.

It may be a better decision to complete a four year bachelors degree in business or humanities, and gain some experience and skills while you are at college.

A lot of event planners come to the role with experience in another industry.

Working in events management is something that have decided to do after working in another career path for some time.

This is not to say that if you are in high school or college that you cannot be an event planner, in fact the opposite is true.

It’s never too early to start learning skills to become an event planner.

You can offer to plan events for your school, college, or a local community group.

This will help you learn how the system works, how to promote an event, and most of all how to network.

Try and get a role with an event management or public relations firm.

Even an entry level role is a good start.

Remember, this is a very desirable and competitive industry, so you may need to start from the bottom.

Event Planner Job Description

Working as an event planner, you’ll spend most of your day either on your feet, or talking on the phone.

While you will have some desk work, this is a role for people who like talking to others and communicating a lot.

One of the great benefits of this job is that no two days are ever going to be the same.

You’ll always be meeting new clients, getting new jobs, and planning different events.

Here are some of the tasks and even planner might complete:

  • Meeting with clients
  • Preparing proposals for clients
  • Finding locations for events
  • Communicating with clients and colleagues
  • Communicating with vendors who supply catering, entertainment or decorations
  • Promoting events
  • Promoting clients
  • Attending an event
  • Making sure an event runs to plan
  • Traveling to attend events

Event Planner Salary and Career Path

If you want to work in a fast growing industry then event planning is for you.

As an industry it is expected to grow faster than average compared to other occupations.

Job prospects are good for those with experience, but it can be difficult to find a start.

It’s advisable to do as much work experience as you can while you are at college.

The salary for an event planner is good, with entry level roles paying anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.

The median wage is $50,000 a year.

Experienced event planners can earn as much as $70,000 a year.

Most event planners will commence their career working for a firm, either in event planning, or a similar field like public relations.

Some may work for conference or meeting centers.

Later on in your career there is the options of going out on your own, and starting your own even planning business.

Some move on to work in similar industries like public relations.

Many event planners end up specializing in a particular area, for instance weddings, or corporate functions.

If you gain a reputation as being fantastic at you job, you can be assured of much work and a high income.

When you become an event planner, you can be assured of a challenging, fast paced job, that will never be the same two days in a row.

Good people and networking skills are a definite must in this industry.

If you’re organized, focused, and love to socialize then you will excel in this role.

Getting a start can be hard, however there is a good salary on offer for those that persist, as well as the satisfaction that comes from doing a job you love.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an event planner do?

Typically, an event planner would be choosing meeting locations, arranging transportation, coordinating every single aspect of an event or a professional meeting.

Event planners could be asked to coordinate a wedding, a party, a business or education meeting, etc.

Any kind of event would have a certain purpose and an event planner has to make sure that the main goals are achieved.

The responsibilities of a specialist would normally include meeting with the clients; planning the event (the cost, location, time, and program); finding other professionals and service providers that are going to work at the event (like florists, for example); finding the perfect place that meets all the requirements; coordinating details with on-site staff; monitoring event activities; reviewing the bills, and so on.

How much do event planners make?

On average, event planners make a little more than $33.000 in the United States annually.

You can expect to earn anywhere between $28.000 and $51.000.

However, the salary would heavily depend on the client that you have decided to work for.

Entry-level event planners can make around $13 per hour.

The specialists in the metropolitan areas Bridgeport, Connecticut; the District of Columbia; and New York City earn the highest salaries.

Typically, event planners for convention centers would make more than those who work in the catering sphere.

How much does it cost to become an event planner?

You wouldn’t need a degree to become an event planner.

Moreover, you might not even go for a certificate of any kind, as the majority of the experience is acquired on the actual job.

However, those who have a bachelor’s degree or a certification of completion have more chances of finding clients.

A bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, for example, will cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $29.000 per year.

There are various certificate programs available in the country, some might cost you $1.000 and some – up to $4.000.

What is the demand for event planners?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the event planning job market will grow by 33% (between 2012 and 2020).

More and more businesses tend to choose events as a way of bringing people together, that’s why the perspectives in the event planning field are great.

However, those who possess a bachelor’s degree will have the best job opportunities.

How long does it take to become an event planner?

In case you would want to find a highly paid job, you should consider earning a bachelor’s degree in business, communication, hospitality or event planning.

A lot of schools started offering a degree in event planning/management not that long ago.

An associate’s degree will take you 2 years to obtain, while a bachelor’s degree program would require 4 years to complete.

You can then spend another few years on obtaining a master’s degree.

Event planners can also take part in the Certified Meeting Professional program to have their professional credentials officially recognized.

A CMP program would require you to have some experience in the field.

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